Six years into my NWP (National Writing Project) adventure, I continue to be amazed by the awesomeness that abounds whenever two or more teachers gather in NWP’s name. This Saturday the Morehead Writing Project‘s 2014 Invitational Summer Institute Fellows gathered for our first official follow-up (not to be confused with other Morehead Writing Project events such as our Fall Weekend Writing Retreat and more informal meetings at Buffalo Wild Wings or La Fincas or Fuzzy Duck).
We gathered to renew ourselves as writers and to work on our classroom inquiry projects. I was impressed (as always) by the range of intriguing and inspirational research questions these educators plan to pursue, but what really struck me was the supportive and collaborative environment we have created. There was a tremendous pooling of resources and ideas and every teacher left the room with an amazing research plan thanks to their community. I think there are many different reasons for the powerful magic that is NWP professional development, but one essential is this collaboration which allows every teacher in the room both equal access to the resources available and equal opportunity to be the resource. At any moment any teacher may be the leader.
What really brought this message home to me was the closing activity that site leader Brandis Carlson created (after some collaboration with other leaders). She introduced us to the Kid President’s Guide To Being Awesome. Our writing prompt was to first think about the superpower that helps us to be awesome and then the kryptonite that holds us back. I’ve been thinking about these questions ever since, because I think these are important questions to ask ourselves on a regular basis as teachers as well as humans. It is easy to forget in the rush of life and all its demands on us that we have superpowers that can raise us to new heights and that we have kryptonite that can hold us back. Take a moment to reflect on your superpower and the awesomeness it brings to your life. NWP is one of my superpowers, but my kryptonite for this particular superpower is that I often forget the awesomeness it brings to my life under the demands of being a site leader. I focus on my to-do list rather than the magic.
NWP can be your superpower too. Come experience this awesomeness for yourself with the upcoming Kentucky Writing Project Fall Conference and MWP’s Writing Eastern Kentucky Conference. You will be powerful and awesome for the experience. What is your superpower and kryptonite?